What to know before the summer heat arrives
Although spring has just sprung, we all know that for most parts of the country, the nice, mild weather never lasts as long as we want it to. Every year it seems like the intense heat and humidity arrive earlier and earlier, especially in a place like Florida. Warm all year-round, it’s the summer months that really make people sweat.
The good news is that we don’t have to suffer when the mercury climbs. All we need to do is crank up the AC and enjoy our cool homes. But, have you ever given any thought to how your system is affected by the heat? As long as it’s bringing in cold air, probably not. But it is always a good idea to know exactly how the weather impacts the things around your home. Here’s what you should know:
Both the heat and humidity can wreak havoc
An air conditioner takes heat from the air inside a home and releases it outside. This means that the hotter it gets, the more heat there is in a home, which results in more work for the system. And when humidity levels are also high, this increases the strain on the AC. When it’s on almost non-stop 24 hours a day, sometimes an AC can crack under the pressure, particularly with older systems or those that haven’t been maintained well. While air conditioners are designed to hold up in extreme heat, the capacitors – the parts that send voltage to the motors – can burn out when under stress.
Airflow is also an important factor
An AC needs to have good circulation within the system in order to perform as it should. When airflow gets blocked, this will make it have to work harder to provide the best comfort. One of the biggest issues with airflow and outdoor units is landscaping. When an AC isn’t working well, often the problem is related to plants and bushes that are blocking the air. This is why it is important to keep an eye on your greenery to make sure it isn’t getting overgrown. It’s a wise idea to make sure there is at least one foot of clear space on every side of the unit.
4 AC tips to help you stay cool
To keep your AC running well no matter how hot it gets, here are some good tips to follow:
Replace your filters
The longer your system is on, the more dirt and dust is collected by the filters. And when this stuff builds up, it means your AC will have to put in more work to keep you comfortable. Be sure to check your filters monthly and replace them when necessary.
Be mindful of the things around the thermostat
Anything that produces heat – such as lamps – shouldn’t be near your thermostat, as this can trick the system into thinking it is hotter than it is. In addition, if you’ll be installing a new thermostat, be careful not to put it in a spot that gets direct sunlight.
Use a programmable thermostat
How often do you leave your home forgetting to adjust the thermostat? While your dog probably appreciates the AC on all day, this is putting needless wear and tear on the system. A programmable thermostat or one you can access through your smartphone is a good solution to this problem.
Get a new type of system
Most likely, your home has a central air system. And while outstanding for making every room feel like a fridge, it does have some drawbacks. First of all, it is very inefficient. Unless you have a huge family, there is no reason to have every room air conditioned all the time. Not only does this waste money, it taxes your system. Instead, you may want to think about a ductless mini-split. Installed in individual rooms or on different floors, this type of AC only cools the spots you want it to when you want it to. It can also easily be controlled by your smartphone no matter where you are.
While you probably don’t want to think about the hot weather on the way, now is the time to get your AC in order so you can be sure you’ll have a cool and comfortable summer.